Sharply higher prices have kept prospective homebuyers away from the mainland property market this month, traditionally a peak period for property sales in the country.

Data monitored by the Royal Bank of Scotland Group shows that in 20 key cities on the mainland, completed property deals fell 14.5 per cent in the first three weeks of this month from the same period last month.

The sharp decline came despite the showcasing of properties in the annual Beijing Fall Home Show held early this month.

"Prices are too high. I'm not going to buy any property now," said Wang, a prospective buyer, who operates a clothing store in Guangzhou. He was commenting after a visit to a new residential project in that city on Friday.

South China Morning Post